Gay History Timeline: 1985
A Look Back at Gay History From 1967

A Look Back at Gay History: 1986



Jan 6, 1986 - "Growing Up Gay" is the cover story of this week's issue of Newsweek.

Jan 12, 1986 - The song That's What Friends Are For, recorded to benefit AMFAR, begins the first of four weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Feb 19, 1986 - The AIDS drama Parting Glances opens in theaters.

March 24, 1986 - William Hurt is the first actor to win an Oscar for portraying a gay character, in Kiss of the Spider Woman

April 11, 1986 - The movie My Beautiful Laundrette opens in the U.S., featuring Daniel Day Lewis in his first major film role.


May 2, 1986 - Cher calls David Letterman an "asshole" on his NBC late night show.

May 4, 1986 - The Pet Shop Boys' first single, West End Girls, tops the Billboard Hot 100.

May 18, 1986 - New York City holds its first GMHC AIDS Walkathon.

May 30, 1986 - Fashion designer Perry Ellis dies of AIDS at the age of 46.


June 30, 1986 - The U.S. Supreme Court upholds Georgia's sodomy law, ruling that states can outlaw homosexual acts between consenting adults.

Aug 2, 1986 - Closeted attorney Roy Cohn, who would be cast as a self-loathing villain in Tony Kushner's Angels in America, dies from AIDS at the age of 59.

Aug 16, 1986 - Madonna's Papa Don't Preach hits #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.

Sept 13, 1986 - Pee Wee's Playhouse debuts on CBS's Saturday AM Kids lineup.

Oct 22, 1986 - U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop calls for the  use of condoms to prevent HIV transmission.


Nov 2, 1986 - Liberace makes his final stage performance, at Radio City Music Hall. 

Nov 16, 1986 - Susan Sontag's AIDS-inspired short story The Way We Live Now is published in The New Yorker (issue date of 11/23).

Nov 28, 1986 - 27-year-old comic Ellen Degeneres makes her first appearance on The Tonight Show.

Dec 28, 1986 - Terry Dolan, a closeted anti-gay Republican operative, dies of AIDS at the age of 36.


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